I am attending a hearing under my company's harassment procedure. Who can accompany me?

You have the legal right to be accompanied to the hearing by:

  • a fellow worker;
  • a full-time official employed by a trade union; or
  • a lay trade union official.

A full-time or lay trade union official may be required to show they have the experience of, or have received training in, acting as a worker's companion at disciplinary and grievance hearings.

In order to be accompanied, you must make a formal request to your employer. You must make your request in a reasonable way, for example, not leaving it to the last minute. It is a good idea to make your request in writing.

If you suffer from a disability, your employer will owe you a duty to make reasonable adjustments to the hearing process to accommodate your disability. This might include allowing you to be accompanied by the companion of your choice, for example, a family member or a disability support worker.

Your employer should also think about making adjustments to your right to be accompanied if English is not your first language (for example, by arranging for a co-worker to interpret for you) or if you are a young person in your first job.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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